DVD challenges for winter

Here are five ways to enjoy staying in during the cold winter evenings.


Commit yourself to a beloved TV show that you missed out on when it was actually aired.

Make this the year you finally watch Twin Peaks which is probably the greatest television series of all-time (who us? Biased?). If you’re asking yourself, do I really have to watch this old show then check out this great response from Margaret Lyons over at Vulture. Other must-see recommendations from Readings staff include The Wire, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad.

Though, if you consider you’re well and truly past the use-by date with those shows, another option would be to catch up on Mad Men in time for the final season. (The second part is due to air in 2015.)


Learn a new skill.

One common complaint about winter is that it encourages laziness, mooching and dimming wits. Avoid such pitfalls but using this time to gain knowledge. Learn how to make a Mediterranean Island Feast with Ottolenghi or school up on your music history with the documentary Muscle Shoals. Study the power of Pilates or teach yourself Latin Jazz dancing.

By the time Spring is here you can emerge from your home, much like a butterfly from a cocoon…


Organise a Fright Night.

Yes, it’s true that if what we see in movies is anything to go by, hosting a fright night is the perfect way to attract a serial killer to your home. But then, you also get to eat popcorn and throw things at the screen so we argue it’s a win/lose kind of situation here.

Our absolute top pick for what to screen is the entire Scream trilogy back-to-back because honestly, how could you not? But for those with superior taste than ours why not try a newer release that’s garned some critical acclaim (like The Cabin in the Woods) or a classic (like The Shining).


Celebrate the McConaissance.

Celebrate the mid-career metamorphosis of Matthew McConaughey with a selection of movies featuring his best (and worst) roles. Open with him as iconic stoner Wooderson in Dazed and Confused and close with his Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. In between, you can ‘choose your adventure’ so to speak. McConaughey makes a great courtoom speech in the A Time To Kill and snide remarks in Reign of Fire. He loses all your respect in Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past but wins it back with Mud.

Though, whatever you pick, we absolutely recommend you fit True Detective in their somewhere.


Catch up on MIFF films from last year.

With this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival just around the corner, now is the perfect time to see all the ones you missed from last year.

Some of our favourites included documentaries such as The Act of Killing, Blackfish and Stories We Tell, and films such as The Spectacular Now, Drinking Buddies and Frances Ha. There’s also Tim Winton’s The Turning, an extraordinary filmmaking collaboration our reviewer said was ‘unapologetically Australian’.

(If you do feel up to venturing outdoors… MIFF runs from 31 July to 17 August. You can browse the program here.)

Our website now lists more than 3000 DVDs which you can order online. Happy browsing!